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IBM staff petitions CEO to affirm company values

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In a perfect example of the impact CEO-behaviour can have on a company’s employees and reputation, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has caused her staff to take to the streets. Four months after the CEO’s complimentary letter to President Donald Trump, IBM employees are gathering in protest.

This week, IBM workers in Atlanta and New York City gathered to express their disagreement and dissatisfaction with their CEO’s opinions, Mic reports. The protests are a result of an online petition started in November, shortly after Rometty penned her open letter.

In the petition addressed to Rometty, past and current IBM employees call on the company to expand diversity recruitment programmes, and give staff the right to refuse participation in any U.S. government contracts that violate constitutionally protected civil liberties, among other things.

“We are disappointed that you did not reaffirm the core values which differentiate both IBM as a company and us collectively as IBMers,” the petition reads.

It warns IBM management not to take a conservative approach. “The kinds of moral decisions you and our senior executives make in the next four years will define our corporate character for our next century. This will be your legacy.”

The petition concludes with the request to affirm IBM’s identity as a company that values diversity, and thanks Rometty in advance for her “leadership and courage in the years ahead”.

So far, it has gathered over 2,100 signatures. On the website, several signatories commented on what caused them to sign.

“While I can generally agree with what the CEO wrote in her open letter, the problems are with what she did not write. IBM as a company will suffer if we don’t take a firm stand in the same manner as many other big names already are doing,” one petitioner wrote.

Another comment reads: “If you don’t stand behind your core values, then they’re not core values. They’re just words on a page.”

IBM could not be immediately reached for comment.

ALSO READ: What leaders must start doing immediately to build a culture of trust

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